Biological Safety Practices

  • Hello, BioSafety Community! In the last CSHEMA What's Happening email, we made an error in the list of upcoming meetings. I wanted to note that the BioSafety Community will host a joint meeting with the Animal Research Safety Community on Thursday, ...

  • Hi, I missed the original email as I was out of the office in July. I'd be interested in offering mentoring to anyone in need. I'm at Penn, a bigger institution. It would probably make sense to partner up mentors and mentees based on institution ...

  • Hi Bruce, I realize I'm late responding.  However I'm definitely interested in mentoring.  I recently became the Biosafety Officer at a research institution in Madison.  It would be great to bounce things off of other biosafety professionals while I'm ...

  • Hello Biosafety and Animal Safety colleagues!         In honor of National Biosafety Month, we at the Animal Research Health and Safety COP thought we would commandeer the Biosafety COP and have another joint meeting!                Our co-meeting will ...

  • Dear Colleagues, The University of North Carolina Charlotte's Office of Research Compliance is hiring an IACUC Program Specialist now through 10/20/2019. Position Number #001299 The listing can be found here: https://jobs.uncc.edu/postings/29022 ...

  • Job Posting

    The University of Michigan is currently seeking qualified applicants for an entry level EHS Safety Specialist (EHS Rep I -Research Health & Safety).  This is a professional health and safety position focused on biological safety services with the additional ...

  • Hi everyone, Practice Greenhealth and Healthcare Without Harm have some nice guidance on this topic.  Your local hospital association may have some guidance you can review as well.  Here is a link to the Washington State Hospital Association's action ...

  • Hello all,      I am considering switching from antibacterial hand soap to regular hand soap for my BSL-3 facility (we only study M. tuberculosis). While that may seem counter intuitive, I'm not convinced there is any benefit to antimicrobial soap. ...

  • At the request of one of our COP Members, the EHS office at UCLA is hiring a  Vivarium Safety Specialist. The position description can be found here and is posted below. If you are interested, or know someone who is interested, please have them ...

  • Hello everyone, One of the open Biosafety Specialist positions at Georgia Tech has been posted!  Please direct anyone to the link below who you feel may be qualified and is interested.  It can be found under the title of "Biosafety Specialist": gatech.taleo.net/careersection/gatech_internal/jobdetail.ftl ...

  • Hello everyone, The Biosafety Officer position at Georgia Tech has been posted!  Please refer anyone you feel may be interested and fits the qualifications to the link below.  It can be found under the title "Biosafety Officer": gatech.taleo.net/careersection/gatech_classified/jobdetail.ftl ...

  • Hi Sharon- Years ago we had some issues with mold (also had issue with improper embalming...but that's another story for a different time).  Our lab TA's go through quite a bit of cadaver wetting solution (during heavy dissection periods-about 20L per ...

  • Very helpful, thanks. ------------------------------ Sharon Tighe Laboratory Safety Officer Western Carolina University Cullowhee NC ------------------------------

  • We don't even mess with onsite neutralization anymore. Our Gross Lab folks bulk the fluid in 55-gal drums and we ship it off as Haz Waste. I would imagine if you're switching to that high a % of alcohol, that is going to be too much to drain dispose. ...

  • Hi Bruce, Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.  I'll recommend the solutions you indicated above to our cadaver manager.  Can you also let me know how the waste disposal is handled for the cadaver labs.  Here, they are using formalex green to ...

  • Hi Sharon, We had a (pretty severe) mold issue in our anatomy lab up to about a year ago. One of the folks we consulted was Ronn Wade,  director of the Maryland State Anatomy Board. He said: Lysol won't work on a cadaver Don't use embalming ...

  • Cadaver mold inhibitor

    Hello Biosafety! Our anatomy lab manager is having problems with mold growing on the cadavers!  The current inhibitor isn't working well, so he wants to switch to using an ethanol solution (50% or higher).  I'm not very familiar with cadaver labs, so ...

  • Tim Emphasis on risk analysis by the draft WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual 4 th Edition may not have a large impact on researchers in the US because the BMBL 6 th Edition will stay with Biosafety Level facility design descriptions. Prior ...

  • It's important to consider how information is communicated.  While not perfect, biosafety levels communicate a set of controls and work practices that align with potential routes of exposure.  It is fairly intuitive and nearly all researchers seem to ...

  • Hello, Biosafety CoP Members! Welcome back from the 2019 CSHEMA Annual Conference! We have been approached by New England Biological Safety Association (NEBSA), an ABSA affiliate. As part of their outreach program, they offer mentorship oppurtunities ...

  • Our task is to make sure people understand that Staph aureus, for example, is not always worked with in a BSL-2 secondary containment facility. Risk Groups for organisms have absolutely no direct relationship to containment facility design. Risk ...

  • Perhaps I was unclear- CSHEMA has a variety of professionals from a variety of disciplines. There are some that may be a part of this CoP that may know very little about biosafety (hence joining it to learn more). Both the headline and the context of ...

  • Danielle I'm confident that people will understand the nuances of the WHO Manual as succinctly stated in the Forward: "Previous versions of the manual described the classification of biological agents and laboratories in terms of risk/hazard groups ...

  • I think, as biosafety professionals, we need to be very careful in the information we provide on these platforms. People may read this and think "Hey, we don't have biosafety levels anymore? Now what?" So, I have a few comments in regard to this thread:  ...

  • Eric Suggest you take a look at DRM Appendix F: Room Data Sheets starting on page 1103 for a description of the physical construction characteristics of containment and high containment facilities. [these are not open concept facilities] ...

  • The Design Guide does however state that laboratories shall be designed to BSL-2 as a minimum standard in accordance with the latest edition of the BMBL (page 117). So disregarding the BMBL and BSL in lab design is not the whole story as the guide specifically ...

  • Draft WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual Fourth Edition Removes "Biosafety Levels"  WHO Biosafety Manual Forward:  "Previous versions of the manual described the classification of biological agents and laboratories in terms of risk/hazard groups and ...

  • Charles, I'm going to have to second Richard's point-it's an urban legend... and you expressly mention fungal agents in your original post. We decon all filter replacements, always when work it performed inside the mechanics of the unit, and most ...

  • Hi Charles - ". I've been told that the agents potentially captured in the filter would no longer be viable after ~72 hours,..."  That's an urban legend - sorry Nonexistent issues (a.k.a. urban legends/faulty reasoning) plague the biosafety field. Examples ...

  • Hi Charles, For your Biological Safety Cabinet or Biosafety Cabinet or BSC... whatever you want to call it, I would suggest you contact the company that you would consider for the decon and get their input. A lot of researchers here use Brager Scientific ...

  • We use chemical decon for all filter changes. We use a third party, they decon, remove and install the filters and re-certify the cabinet afterwards. It's not that expensive when compared with purchasing your own decon unit. David R. Pawlowski, ...

  • Thank you for the responses. Until we have the budget to purchase a CD or HP decon system, I'll be using electric skillets and formaldehyde. I wanted to make sure that it was absolutely necessary and worth the added time and effort to use the old method. ...

  • Hi Charles, I'm not an authority on the matter, but when someone needs to change out a lightbulb we only ask that they decon the interior surface, since that work is all done interior to the cabinet. Researchers tend to do this themselves. For any repair ...

  • G.1.1.1 BSC's shall be appropriately decontaminated ( either or both the space or surface ) when maintenance work, HEPA/ULPA filter changes, and performance tests require access to any contaminated portion of the cabinet. That blurb there reads that ...

  • Hi Charles, All our chemical decontamination of filters is done by a 3rd party vendor. We have these done on a fairly frequent basis either to move a BSC from one  location to another, or to change a loaded filter, or to do a repair. The vendor usually ...

  • Hi Charles - First, where am I coming from? I'm a member of the NSF International Standard 49 Joint Committee on Biosafety Cabinetry. 1) The correct name for BSCs is biosafety cabinet, not biological safety cabinet; the name was changed several years ...

  • Situation: Overloaded Biological Safety Cabinet Filters - Need replacing Possible infectious agents: BSL 2 agents such as, human materials, fungal agents (e.g. candida, apergillus) The default setting in the BSC advanced certification course at the Baker ...

  • Hi all, Please redirect me if there is a better place to request this. (I will ask ABSA as well). We are looking for references to what an appropriate salary range would be for a research university biosafety officer as part of an analysis associated ...

  • Hi Jackie,  I'm a little tardy to the party here, but I thought I'd follow-up. First I'd review the CDC Guidelines:  Rift Valley Fever (RVF) .  The CDC also has a good health information page for travel in Kenya:  Health Information for Travelers to ...

  • Hi all,  I have a researcher that is interested in finding a substitute for formaldehyde fixation of zebra fish embryos. The desired fixative needs to fix the embryos and then have the excess washed away to allow for further study (rather than storage). ...

  • Biosafety CoP members, 2019 Annual Conference is only 7 weeks away! There are still several sessions that need presenters or help presenting. They are: Communicating Risks to Your Animal Staff ( in conjunction with the Animal Safety CoP ...

  • Hello all! This was originally posted in the CSHEMA Cafe by Julia Krout but I wanted to make sure our groups saw it as I know this is often a topic of conversation within labs and animal facilities. The Journal of the American Association of Laboratory ...

  • Hi Everyone, Attached is the draft version of Biosafety for Beginners CSHEMA 2019. The session is schedule for Monday July 15 2:00-2:45.  Take a look at the content and Let me know if you want any changes. I structured the session so that you could substitute ...

  • ​ Dear CSHEMA Colleagues: I have a question regarding precautions for one of our field researchers who plans to conduct ELISAs on blood collected from cattle, camels and sheep. The samples will be collected from the animals on a ranch in Kenya, by a ...

  • I don't think you need to keep the log either (although you probably have the information collected anyway). "Employers are not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records for any establishment classified in the following North American Industry ...

  • RE: Poliovirus survey

    How is everybody doing on this? It seems like it will be hitting a lot of institutions that have freezers and have collected samples in the past decades. Even if you don't have an IBC, you could still have materials at your institution that should be ...

  • Exciting Keynotes Announced for Indianapolis!   Monday Morning: Federal Bureau of Investigation Policy & Program Specialist William "Will" So, PhD will provide a synopsis of the range of threats, the misuse and illicit acquisition of Weapons of ...

  • RE: Poliovirus survey

    Follow-up from the U.S. NAC: Dear Colleague, The U.S. NAC has asked IBC Chairs with the assistance of their biosafety officers to send forward information about the national inventory online survey to principal investigators. We initially requested ...

  • RE: Poliovirus survey

    Hi Joy, We received the same request. I swear, I think we have received these requests before. But we have done polio-involved work in the past too. For us, now, I'm just consulting with our IBC Chair and letting her send in the information for the ...

  • Poliovirus survey

    Hi Everyone,  Our IBC chair received an email from NIH requesting that we fill out a survey regarding poliovirus. We are a bit confused as to how to proceed. We're not sure if just IBC members should fill it out or all of our PIs. (none of our IBC PIs ...